The Fairfax County Police Department is turning up the heat on vehicle thefts and break-ins, as summer enters its final month.
The department announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it will focus on auto thefts this August as part of its 2023 Summer Crime Prevention Initiative, which previously boosted enforcement around retail theft and driving under the influence.
“The Summer Crime Prevention team will intensify its efforts to prevent theft from vehicles and vehicle parts by implementing strategic and focused enforcement measures,” the FCPD said. “Officers will be stepping up their patrol efforts and focusing on areas of Fairfax County that have been historically targeted.”
Earlier this summer, the department was investigating a slew of thefts from cars in Reston that it said took place throughout May and June. More than 30 unlocked vehicles were targeted, with the suspects taking cash, purses, credit cards and other valuables.
As of June 27, police had recorded more than 1,000 incidents of people breaking into vehicles or entering unlocked vehicles so far in 2023. There had been over 580 stolen cars and motorcycles, exceeding the 440 thefts reported at that time in 2022.
The FCPD reported a total of 1,362 vehicle thefts in 2022 and 1,207 in 2021, according to an annual report published in May.
For this month’s crime prevention campaign, the FCPD says its officers “will migrate throughout the county to help deter and educate community members on ways to combat vehicle-related theft.”
“Airbags, laptops, cell phones, and other high-value property can all be easy targets if someone gains access to your vehicle,” the department said.
The department noted that community members can take some precautions to avoid being targeted:
- Lock your car and avoid leaving your keys in the car.
- Park in public places with lots of streetlights.
- Keep the windows rolled up when you park.
- Install car alarm systems and/or GPS systems.
- Do not leave any personal or valuable belongings inside your car.
- Do not leave your car turned on and unattended.
- Do not leave a spare key where it can be found.
- Utilize Security Cameras and floodlights.
- Know where you’re going.
- Practice proper automotive maintenance.
- Always stay aware of your surroundings.
- Do not store important personal documents in your vehicle.
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